An essay in tension between soloist and orchestra. In the first movement long cello solos are contrasted with outbursts from the orchestra; in the second movement cello and orchestra merge – the cello sound coloured by various doublings; and the last movement is a moto perpetuo again contrasting soloist with orchestra. Premiered by cellist Alexander Baillie, conducted by Matthias Bamert and the Scottish National Orchestra.
This musical analogy to the physical phenomenon of light breaking up is written in a pointillistic style, with sinuous melodic fragments leaping across the piano keyboard in jagged cross-rhythmic dancing. Angular counter- melodies are provided by a chamber orchestra of single winds and brass with 14 strings in this single movement.
The idea of diffractions is represented in sound by the piano, central and prominent, exploiting an aspect of its technique to which it is ideally suited: rapid changes of direction and wide intervallic leaps with extreme dynamics. The orchestra provides bands of coloured spectra forming an integrated texture. The melody, oscillating and colourful is sometimes pointillistic and at other times it flows into longer continuous phrases.
Diffractions is essentially an abstract work in one continuous movement.
This work for narrator, tenor and symphony orchestra highlights the impact on nature of man’s questionable progress. This idea is taken directly from Hone Tuwhare’s poem The Sea! To The Mountains! To The River which is the text for the soloist. Evolution is one continuous movement interspersed with nine vocal sections.
This work features virtuosic writing for the soloist along with a colourful orchestral part. In four movements, it explores a wide range of moods and styles. It was composed as part of Ritchie’s honours portfolio at Canterbury University, and lasts 30 minutes. The second and third movements were performed in 1984 by Sharon Joy Vogan and the NZSO, and recorded for radio.